317th AW Airmen deploy, support U.S. AFRICOM

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Owsianka
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Whether it’s participating in exercises or conducting local operational and training missions, Airmen continuously hone their skillsets to ensure they are ready for any real-world mission that may arise.

Members from the 317th Airlift Wing recently deployed to the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, between Dec. 9 and 15, 2020.

“It’s incredibly important for our Airmen to be able to deploy whenever they are called upon because it plays into the recent push in the Air Force’s full spectrum readiness,” said Col. James Young, 317th AW commander. “Our Airmen play a critical role in the employment of combat power and combat airlift while they are deployed.”

In order for the Airmen to deploy in a timely manner, personnel from the 317th AW and 7th Bomb Wing came together to complete necessary tasks that are required for Airmen to deploy.

The 317th AW leadership started the planning stages by determining what is required to move the aircraft, aircrew, maintainers and support personnel to the U.S. AFRICOM AOR. Members with the 317th Operations Support Squadron worked alongside the 317th AW plans and programs office to determine training required for deployment.

Airmen from the 7th BW provided essential support for the Airmen deploying to depart on time. These personnel helped deliver all required immunizations, pre-deployment COVID-19 testing, combat arms training, cargo and personnel transportation preparations, survival and chemical training, and all pre-deployment functions, requirements and processing.

“The base truly worked as a team to ensure everything and everyone was ready to deploy on time,” said Maj. April Widman, 317th AMXS commander. “Our personnel need the healthiest aircraft possible anywhere we go which led us to complete all scheduled maintenance requirements that were due throughout the deployment to ensure our aircraft are mission ready.”

Even though the world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 317th AW Airmen deploying showcases that they are still able to conduct their mission on a global scale.

“We have processes and procedures in place for us to complete our mission and any tasks that may arise,” Young said. “Deploying our Airmen shows that we are still able to operate and get any mission done despite being in the midst of a global pandemic because we have very innovative and dedicated Airmen who take this business seriously.”

The Airmen provide intra-theater airlift support through airdrop and combat airlift operations during deployments.

“We train for this every day,” Young said. “This goes to show that despite the different patches we wear, the different walks of life and various parts of the world, when the nation calls and the mission is needed to be done, everyone leans in and gets it done.”

During this deployment, Dyess Airmen supported the repositioning of U.S. forces and equipment within East Africa during a Joint Task Force-Quartz mission.

Even though the service members and military equipment has been relocated, the U.S. military will continue to support partner forces throughout the region.

“Any adversary who wishes to challenge U.S. military power, our partners, or our allies should think twice after seeing what we did in such a short time,” said Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, JTF-Quartz commander. “The U.S. is unmatched in our ability to project power, and we stand ready to do so anytime, anywhere.”